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International criminal network dealing with migrants ‘smuggling dismantled

After 12 months of intensive exchange of information through SELEC channel among law enforcement authorities of Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on 17th of March 2018 joint investigation PASSPORT on illegal migration was finalized, with 53 persons arrested and 11 persons currently wanted.

Several organized crime groups were dealing with the smuggling of migrants from Republic of Albania to Great Britain, United States of America and Canada, by using forged documents. The Bulgarian authorities managed to dismantle the organized crime group, part of an international criminal network for smuggling migrants, that was producing and proliferating fake documents. During the searches performed various pieces of equipment and ID documents (Bulgarian, Turkish, Danish, Romanian, Spanish) were found, as well as 5114 pieces of fake 100 Euro banknotes.

The activities of the organized crime groups were spread in Republic of Albania, Republic of Bulgaria, Kingdom of Spain, Dominican Republic and United States of America. In the last 2 years they managed to smuggle to Great Britain, USA and Canada over 1,000 migrants, obtaining profits in an average amount of 15 million USD.

The judicial procedures are ongoing.

Extending the cooperation towards the Middle East

At the invitation of the Director of GCC-Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs, Brigadier Saqer Rashid AL-MERAIKHI, on 6th of March 2018 the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana MALEEVA paid a visit to the headquarters of GCC-CICCD in Doha/Qatar.
During the visit, the Director of the Center and the Head of International Cooperation, Mr. Khalid ALSALAL, presented the organization, its mission, activities and capabilities.
The parties discussed the possibilities of further developing the cooperation, with a focus on drug trafficking, which is a priority both to SELEC and GCC-CICCD and their Member States. (read more)

Director General’s visit in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

At the invitation of the competent authorities of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, during 27-28 February 2018, the Director General of SELEC, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva met the Minister of Interior of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Oliver Spasovski. The parties agreed on further enhancing the cooperation at operational level, with a focus on the joint investigations and operations conducted within SELEC. In the framework of this visit, Mrs. Maleeva had a meeting with the Director of the Bureau for Public Security, Mr. Lazo Velkovski, the active involvement and contribution to SELEC activities of the law enforcement authorities of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia being underlined by Mrs. Maleeva.

With this occasion the awarding ceremony for the successful operation “Coordination” coordinated through SELEC was held, Mrs. Maleeva offering the Certificate of Honour and expressing appreciation to the representatives of the Unit for combating trafficking of drugs in charge with the above-mentioned operation.

Mrs. Maleeva had a meeting with the Director General of the Customs Administration, Mr. Gjoko Tanasoski, during which the Customs Administration expressed its support to the work of the Center and the interest in further participating in joint actions and exchange of information so as to share knowledge and good practices in improving the cooperation with the Center and its Member States. (read more

Visit of the Ambassador of Republic of Albania in Bucharest

Bucharest, February 20th, 2018 - Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General of SELEC, received today the visit of the Ambassador of Republic of Albania in Bucharest, H.E. Ilir Tepelena, who was accompanied by Ms. Eva Nastas, 1st Secretary to the Albanian Embassy in Bucharest and Mr. Ervin Dervina, Albanian Police Liaison Officer posted at SELEC.

Mrs. Maleeva expressed appreciation as regards the active involvement of the Albanian law enforcement authorities in the operational activities of SELEC and reconfirmed SELEC’ support, with a view of further developing the cooperation.

SELEC’s Director General visit in Republic of Albania

At the invitation of the Albanian law enforcement authorities, in the period 7-8 February 2018, Mrs. Snejana Maleeva, Director General, met with the Minister of Interior of Albania, Mr. Fatmir Xhafaj, the General Director of the Albanian State Police, Mr. Ardi Veliu and the Director for Investigating Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking, Mr. Sokol Selfollari. During the visit, the Director General of SELEC mentioned about the benefits of the regional cooperation in the framework of SELEC and the support offered to its Member States, including Republic of Albania, in the information exchanges and assistance requests’ process, as well in conducting joint investigations and regional operations, with the common aim of preventing and countering organized crime in Southeast Europe.

The parties agreed to further strengthen the cooperation at operational level in order to combat more efficiently the trans-border organized criminality in the region. Regional cooperation should focus on challenges that can be best tackled through common approach, enhanced cooperation and strengthened partnership.

Mrs. Maleeva expressed appreciation for the active involvement of the Albanian authorities in the work of SELEC, this fact being reflected in the results obtained. On this occasion, in the presence of high level officials from the Albanian Police and the case officers, Mrs. Maleeva handed over the Certificates of Honour for two successful awarded joint investigations conducted within SELEC’s framework in 2017, Operation Koordinimi and Alias, both related to illegal drug trafficking. (read more)

Tons of cannabis seized during joint investigation Sunshine supported by SELEC

Following 8 months of exchanging information between Albanian Police Narcotic Department, Turkish Police Narcotic Department and Hellenic Police Narcotic Department, via SELEC channel, regarding the criminal activities of an organized crime group dealing with drug trafficking, the following seizures were made: on 08.08.2017, 2.1 tons cannabis were seized in Italy, on 21.11.2017, 410 kg cannabis were seized in Turkey and on 26.11.2017, 1.6 tons cannabis were seized in Greece. Also, small quantities of cannabis and cocaine were seized in Republic of Albania and Hellenic Republic.

The organized crime group was trafficking drugs in the Balkan countries and in Europe, the modus operandi for the transport of the cannabis was by using a speed boat from Republic of Albania to Republic of Turkey.

On 29 January 2018, by supporting Albanian Narcotic Department, Turkish Police seized in Izmir/ Republic of Turkey 1.6 tons cannabis (skunk) resulted from the illegal activities performed by the same organized crime group, 4 persons being apprehended.

The joint investigation is still ongoing, further results being expected.

400 migrants apprehended following a joint investigation supported by SELEC

The Bulgarian and Turkish authorities dismantled an organized crime group dealing with smuggling of migrants, 20 traffickers (Bulgarian and Turkish citizens) being arrested following this successful joint investigation. SELEC supported the investigation by organizing an operational meeting and providing the necessary real-time exchange of information.

Thus, on 17 of January 2018 the Turkish Police apprehended 400 migrants while they were attempting crossing the border, by boat, from Republic of Turkey to Republic of Bulgaria.
The case is still ongoing.